8:25 AM
@JosephWright: How are the elections going?

@MartinTapankov We have about 59 out of 390 voted, so ~15%
2

8:45 AM
Time to get all my sock-puppets out and get them to vote. Now, who shall I get them to vote for? Any advance on my current bribe level (of 0 quid)?

\sqrt{-1}

Slightly, but not very, more seriously; I'd be intrigued to see the statistics when this election is over to see if there were some statistically significant difference between the candidates.
@MartinTapankov: If you raise that by itself again then you've got a deal.

@AndrewStacey That may well depend on getting enough votes in (a total of 59 voters does not give us a lot of data to play with)

@JosephWright: that's sort of what I mean. If we don't get many voters, then I wonder how much of the distinction between the candidates could be put down to random voting. Namely, if we just had one voter randomly voting 59 times, could we tell the difference?

@AndrewStacey: There might be some surprises if people vote strategically (I did) -- some of the candidates might lose because they are too popular and people would like to support their 2nd and 3rd choices instead

8:50 AM
Ah, tactical voting. As practised by the Great British Public in recent years. And look what good it did them!

@AndrewStacey: I hear ya. Same thing happened in Bulgaria. Twice.

9:03 AM
@AndrewStacey Not quite, I suspect (my guess is Stefan will win by some margin)

@AndrewStacey Incidentally, I found out that two of the 3k+ rep. users are sock puppets. If one of them is yours, you should be able to pay your TUG 2011 travel expenses from the proceeds.

@CharlesStewart Do tell more

@JosephWright Lame, work-avoiding humour.

Quick question: amsmath defines operators \lg and \Pr (which typeset as 'lg' and 'Pr', surprisingly). I've just been asked what they mean and I haven't a clue. Does anyone know?

@JosephWright I'd say that the two top places will be you and Stefan, as the top rep. & evident commitment users. Who gets the prize will, my guess, depend on how the electorate's valuation of hacker versus application goes. So it'll be interesting.
@AndrewStacey Pr is used for the Gödel provability predicate.

9:09 AM
I think that whatever team of moderators we end up with, then we should seriously think of some way of organising the other candidates and almost-candidates into some sort of team. It feels like some people have put just a little more effort in to the site over the last week or so while the election's been going on and it'd be a shame to lose that.
@Charles: and in plain English???

@AndrewStacey: Isn't \lg the base-10 log function?

@AndrewStacey Not a bad idea: I think we can see that most of those people are active here on chat

@Charles: Yes, it did cross my mind to ask if that was what the AMS intended it for. I can't see it being used all that often. @Joseph: Yes, but will they stay active after the election is over? It's given us a talking point, and I don't think it safe to assume that we'll all keep the same level of activity afterwards.
(To be clear, I don't think it has been a large increase in activity, nor do I want it to be - that would be unsustainable, but a small increase by each of us can make a big difference to the site)

@AndrewStacey Perhaps we should schedule a regular session? I know some other SO sites do that with a theme (for example, on the stats site it's reviewing a paper)

@MartinTapankov: That sounds reasonable for \lg

9:13 AM
@AndrewStacey Well, logicians use it a lot, judging from the last ASL meeting I went to.
That said, I don't know if they know of the macro when they Latex.

@Charles: I didn't mean to sound doubtful! However, the list is being prepared for beginner users of LaTeX, and similarly beginners in mathematics, so I think that if there's a more common use then I'll go for that.
@Joseph: I'm not convinced that regular chat sessions would work. I think that that is too localised in time. More reasonable would be having a list of "things that need doing". We had a "things to do on a slow day at TeX" a while ago, maybe it could be resurrected.
After all, as active as we're being now on chat, it's not exactly productive, is it? (Apart from someone figuring out what \Pr is for, of course). What I'd like is some way to keep the slightly increased level of activity, but focus it to where it is most needed.

@AndrewStacey Maybe if we have a convention of saying that we're on chat if we post a meta story that would benefit from it?
Well, comment-overflow would benefit from happening in the third place.
Has anyone looked at the tag set I created for filtering meta.SO? Is it less Macbethian than visiting the actual site?

A bit of web-searching shows that the most likely interpretation of \Pr is "Probability".
@Charles: I agree with the comment overflow to a degree. It would if the participants are all active at the same time. But these things can space out in time and once you get half an hour between postings then chat becomes next to useless. I really think that meta ought to have been more forum-like so that it could handle proper discussions. There are things that actually need discussion and it would be great to be able to do so properly.
@Charles: I keep forgetting about the tag-set. That's something extra that should go on a "sitemap" like the one that one of the Martins suggested.

10:11 AM
@lockstep is on a tagging spree, I see. Out of sheer laziness, I ask: what are you retagging?

He's cleaning up tag, from, what I've seen

10:23 AM
@MartinTapankov: Oh, okay. That figures.

@AndrewStacey :-)

10:35 AM
Perhaps we could find a period of relative inactivity to perform mass retagging and organization?
New questions could easily get buried below a stream of edits

@AndrewStacey I've also seen some people using \Pr for Prandtl number. But I agree that the use of \Pr as probability is probably the most natural/common one; though several of the textbooks I've seen (and one that I've helped typeset) prefer \mathbb{P}.
@MartinTapankov In principle I agree. But there is a built-in work around. Click on "Questions" and then on "Newest".

@WillieWong: True, but I also lose the possibility to track progress on recently answered/edited questions.
@AndrewStacey: I updated the "Things to do on a slow day at TeX" question on meta.

@MartinTapankov Ah, and now you are greedy! :) There has been a proposal floating around on Meta.SO for minor edits that doesn't bump. meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/26483/… Maybe we want to put a proposal to allow, say, moderators/10K users to mark tag changes on old questions as cleanup?

@WillieWong: Exactly. It's kind of annoying when I edit my own question sometimes with a minor change (I have an OCD about grammar and spelling), and the thing gets to the top.

1 hour later…
11:57 AM
Is the tag now for the 'web' programming language (web2c etc.) or for WWW related thing. It seems to be used for both ATM.

@MartinScharrer I'd assume WEB programming in a TeX context

@JosephWright I would say so. The wiki page of this tag should explain that. WWW related thing could be tagged with the (or similar) tag instead.

@MartinScharrer @JosephWright I agree.

@JosephWright Also note the "WEB programming in a TeX context" is not clear for most people. Many don't know the Knuth's web language and this sound like "How to program a web application based on (La)TeX".
A web2c tag would also be clearer

@MartinScharrer Obviously, for a wiki entry you'd need more than that
web2c doesn't quite cover it: WEB is in Pascal, after all

12:10 PM
I am amazed this works: \def\blue{blue} \def\red{red} \setbeamercolor{structure}{fg=\blue!50!\red}

@JosephWright Sure, I wasn't taking it as potential wiki page entry. And you are right about web2c.
@Seamus It most likely uses \edef first, or at least \expandafter for every color.

@MartinScharrer I think it's \edef'd
@MartinScharrer WEB is an awkward one, although I doubt there will be a lot of questions about it!
(Beyond the core people writing engines, it's not exactly popular)

Sorry, what is edef'd? Something inside setbeamercolor?

@Seamus beamer uses the xcolor package, and so this is all passed through to \color in the end

12:26 PM
@Seamus \edef is the expanding version of \def (which, simply said, is the lower level version of \newcommand)

Hi everyone
I would like to ask a rather general question, and don't know how to word it
What I would like to know is -- how to typeset a poem book nicely
Two packages I found (verse and poemscol) are not flexible enough
on the other hand, I don't know where to start if I were to make my own package
I am willing to offer a bounty
and probably have to mention that I don't know any low level TeX commands

@ipavlic: I think you'd get more responses if you just ask the question on the main site. Be sure to list your requirements and an example of a layout/output you'd like to achieve.

@MartinTapankov Thanks. I just wanted to try avoid being too general.

@ipavlic: Sure, I understand -- but you seem to have more requirements which are not covered by the packages you tried -- you could mention those and say why they don't work for you
It's perfectly valid question if you did your due diligence and found out that a common prepackaged solutions don't work for you (which seems to be the case).

1:09 PM
@ipavlic I think in this case it's important you make clear why the verse package etc falls short of what you want to do.
@MartinScharrer @JosephWright Thanks. I need to learn more about how expansion works. I'll have a read of TeX by Topic at some stage...

1:21 PM
18

I'm quite happy hacking TeX macros and cobbling together bits and pieces from different style files to suit my own ends, but I have a suspicion that my resulting hacks are not quite as elegant as they could be. In particular, with regard to when to expand and when not to expand macros. A common...

@JosephWright Thanks! Nice answer. How do you link to a question like that?
I've just realised, that voting for 10k plus people to be moderators lowers the number of people with mod privileges we could have. Should this factor into my thinking when deciding who to vote for?

@Seamus You answer with only the hyperlink and the software running chat converts it automatically
2

1

So I recently learned about the review page. What other unlinked goodies pages exist?

1:31 PM
Whether that should impact on your voting I'm not sure

Wouldn't it be better for the site if more people had access to mod tools? (Not that there's a lot of moderation to do, from what I hear...)

Just getting 10k rep. does not give you the same privileges as 'real' mods
@Seamus I think on the main SO site that's been the case, as of course there is a lot more rep. to be had there

Ah I see.

@Seamus: Wow, my first chat post. Concerning your color question above: You once asked a question on tex.sx, I answered it (and you said you didn't fully understand my answer), but there was indeed an \edef involved:
http://tex.stackexchange.com/questions/7170/change-colour-depending-on-counter/7171#7171

@HendrikVogt Yes indeed. I'm learning all the time. Both that question, and today's comments were prompted by my working on a package that dynamically changes the colour of structural elements of beamer presentations.

1:42 PM
(And why didn't I get nice inclusion of a preview of that page now?)

@Seamus I took your advice and posted my question. Thank you both again.

@HendrikVogt: Maybe because you linked to a specific post in the page (see the last numbers in the end)
4

I have some text that I want to change colour depending on the current state of a counter. But I can't get this file to compile. (This is obviously simplified, since the texcolour command is actually part of a command defined in the preamble...) \documentclass{article} \usepackage{xcolor} \newco...

Thanks, @MartinTapankov

Arg. Quick bash question: I'm trying to write a bash alias, but the command already uses both " and ' How do I group the commands?
That is, I want to make awk ' /^$/ { print "\n"; } /./ { printf("%s ",$0); } END { print; } '  a bash command through an alias in my .zshrc (I use zsh) but I don't know how...

2:25 PM
@Seamus: Why do you want to make it a bash command if you're enlightened enough to use zsh?

3:02 PM
@AndrewStacey Err. I meant zsh. I guess the syntax for describing alias's is similar enough that I could call on the knowledge of anyone who uses any unix shell...

3:16 PM
So you need to escape the single quotes, I guess.

So replace the inside " with \"?

3:54 PM
Wrote my first academic CV today. Played around with moderncv which is quite fancy. It could do with some documentation, though...

4:34 PM
Just testing out my new privileges :)
@Seamus Kieran Healy's CV is very slick looking and he provides the .tex file under Resources
may be of some help
I'm about to write mine in the next few months :)

@brianjd Thanks, I'll have a look at that.

Wow, very slick visualizations here. Talking about what I get from clicking on room at the upper RHS of the page in particular.

5:10 PM
Huh, the libertine font package doesn't seem to like doing slanted small caps. \textsc{\textit{Hello World}} outputs italicised text...

@brianjd an overview of the activity on an average day (horizontal axis is 0-24h, measured from midnight UTC, I think)

5 hours later…
10:13 PM
@AndrewStacey, you here?
To answer your quick question, I'm not sure which message you're referring to as there are two, so I will explain both of them here for you.
The Election Phase's system message is no different from the other phases - it goes away after 48 hours on the main Q&A site, but can be reinstated by a pro tem. The Meta version lasts for the full election time if you don't tamper with it.
There is also a drop down banner that links to the election, which is forced into the HUD of all eligible voters at the start of the election phase. This lasts until it is manually dismissed with the X, or the election ends. Whether you have voted or not does not impact this, I kept mine up for the entire duration of Gaming's election and I voted in the first second of the phase.
The drop down banner cannot be reinstated, and it does mimic the same banners that show up for "Welcome to the site, read FAQ" or "You got a badge!". So if you fear that, after the first 48 hours, you are losing on votes because people reflexively dismissed this banner, don't hesitate to reinstate the System Message.
For what it's worth, proportionally speaking 59/390 is a better turnout than what Gaming had. At any rate, good luck to all of the candidates! ♪

@GraceNote: Thanks for stopping by. It's hard to know what Jo TeXer does with those drop-down banners, but as they tend to obscure the stuff at the top I'd expect everyone to dismiss them quite quickly. So I think I will reinstate the system message, assuming none of my fellow pro-tems come here and protest between now and the morning. On one level, I'm not sure it matters - if you scan back through the transcript here you'll see we're running a "reverse election"! (ctd)

@AndrewStacey Go for it: put 'vote for Stefan' in too if you feel like it :-)

(ctd) but I'll freely admit that I'm keen for this site to "look good" amongst the SE sites by having lots of candidates step up and say "This site is important, if it needs me to be a moderator, then I will be" and lots of people voting to say, "We agree - it's important".
@Joseph: It's bedtime here and it would take me longer than I want to figure out how to do the banners now. If no-one does it before me, I'll do it in the morning.

10:30 PM
@AndrewStacey Actually, you can just reuse an old message.

@GraceNote: What, and miss the opportunity to fix the election?? No way!

Well, you can always edit it. I threw a ♫ into the system message for Gaming. ♪

(Right, definitely bed time. Night all. Don't rig any elections I wouldn't rig. And the reciprocal of pi to you all.)

G'nite, @Andrew. Ima head out as well.